Five countries that don’t want to show the new Marvel superhero movie. They all cite the same reason.
Marvel is currently the best when it comes to superhero movies. And even if a series like “WandaVision” is very successful on Disney +’s streaming service, major cinema films remain the leader. One of the studio’s most successful films – and arguably soon after its release – is Doctor Strange 2. This movie, of all things, is now banned from cinemas in five countries.
The movie “Doctor Gharib 2” was banned in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, among other countries
The first “Doctor Strange” is already a few years old. The wizard Benedict Cumberbatch has appeared in some Marvel movies and played a crucial role in “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame”. But fans had to wait a long time for another solo movie. After 2016, Doctor Strange 2 was released in the spring of 2022 under the title Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. But not in all countries. Both Egypt and Saudi Arabia have previously announced that they will not be showing the superhero movie.
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The reason is a character called America Chavez, played by Xochitl Gomez. The young superhero is introduced with the film for the first time. Not only is her extraordinary power – she can fly (spoiler alert), extremely powerful and can create portals to other dimensions and realities – make her a special character. She is also the first LGBTQ+ heroine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Homosexuality is illegal in both Egypt and Saudi Arabia. That’s why IMAX Egypt, among others, announced on Twitter that they did not want the film to be shown.
Mind one scene
Shortly thereafter, Kuwait and Qatar also halted the sale of movie tickets. Although it was not previously known how homosexuality might play a role in the film, the aforementioned states set themselves up early on. The film that has since been released is only casually about homosexuality. Strictly speaking, she is only mentioned in a sequence lasting about twelve seconds when America addresses her mother. The fact that the character himself is gay (see comic template) did not play any role in “Doctor Strange 2”. It remains to be seen how the theme will be laid out in the MCU in the future.
The film was not shown in China either, although no reason was given in this case. Chinese cinemas also did not show the Marvel movie “Eternals” in 2021; At the time, the reason was that director Chloe Chow made negative comments about her native China. However, there have been problems with the Asian country for another blockbuster recently: “Fantastic Beasts 3: Dumbledore’s Secret”. There are, indeed, some scenes outlining the love affair between Dumbledore and Grindelwald that had to be censored. So it is not excluded that homosexuality will also play a role in the movie “Doctor Strange 2”.
Banning the cinema from ‘Doctor Strange 2’ is not an isolated case
The reactions to the aforementioned Twitter post, for example, are pretty devastating. Many Twitter users do not understand the decision, while others are simply suggesting that a censored version be shown in cinemas. Saudi cinemas also referred to this as an opportunity to continue showing the film. You should know that “Doctor Strange 2” is not an isolated case. Just last year, as mentioned earlier, “Eternals” was also banned in five countries. The reason was the depiction of homosexuality and the alternate history of human origins. This is considered blasphemy in some countries, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
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And already in 2017, there was a dispute about Disney’s realistic authorship of “Beauty and the Beast”. The character LeFou, who is portrayed by Josh Gad in the film, is also gay, which is evident in a few places in the movie. Malaysia, for example, only wanted to show the blockbuster in a censored version; Disney strongly contradicts this by pointing to a deliberate desire to offer more variety in their own products. In the end, the film was not even shown in cinemas in the country. So a censored version shouldn’t be an option for “Doctor Strange 2” either, because Disney is also behind Marvel.
America Chavez in the movie Doctor Strange 2
America Chavez, a character known as Miss America, joined the MCU and has been a part of the comic book since 2011. She has been a member of the Young Avengers since 2013. In the comics, she grew up with her mother in a parallel world before ending up on our Earth. Especially her ability to create portals makes her probably the most exciting character in “Doctor Strange 2”. As one of the trailers has already shown, the young woman is being pursued by dark forces. Superhero powers are also interesting to Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), because it will give her the opportunity to see her lost children again. In Germany, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” has been showing in cinemas since May 4, and Disney+ is already slated to start showing this summer.